From 21 to 30 August 2015, exhibitions, workshops, meetings, lectures and much more will illustrate how the history of Italian creativity influenced cultural developments in Europe and the rest of the world throughout the twentieth century, from the latter phase of the Industrial Revolution to the interwar period and on to the post-war economic boom and the inexorable rise of Made in Italy.
Following up on previous editions devoted to Brazil, China and India, all emerging nations by definition, St. Moritz Art Masters now has turned its magnifying glass to focus on Switzerland’s immediate southern neighbour, known affectionately as the Bel Paese. Not that the choice is in any way random: in the year when Milan is hosting the Expo, the world is looking at Italy with fresh curiosity and attention, hoping for an economic and social renaissance that can only be generated with the aid of art and culture.

The brainchild of Monty Shadow, St. Moritz Art Masters 2015 will explore how Italy’s twentieth-century art movements evolved, progressing from Futurism to Metaphysics and from Rationalism to Spatialism, focusing in particular on the creative ferment of the sixties and seventies, but then continuing to take in the latest developments in contemporary art. The event will be constructed around the concept drawn up by an advisory committee whose members include Davide Rampello, curator of the Zero Pavilion at EXPO 2015, the art dealers Marco Voena and Luigi Toninelli, the Director of the Beyeler Foundation Samuel Keller, the editor of Vogue Italia Franca Sozzani, the curator Reiner Opoku and the collectors Beat Curti and Roland Berger.

The wide variety of exhibitions on show will induce visitors to trace the affinities and the differences between the sequence of different expressive media that were used in a time lapse of more than one century of Italian creativity, together with the many different topics that were tackled.

Arnaldo Pomodoro, Augusto Perez and Giacomo Manzù are enrolled to welcome art enthusiasts, with the installation of several of their most iconic sculptures lining the pedestrian area in St. Moritz, transformed into a real open-air museum for the occasion. This investigation of the sculptural idiom is then amplified by a retrospective of Marino Marini.

Other events in the agenda include an exhibition of works by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, to be hosted in the Protestant church of St. Moritz, focusing on a dialogue between these two important personalities in post-war Italian art. Progressing from the Informel, the programme then studies other significant seasons that left their mark on the Italian art scene, with the retrospective of Aldo Mondino held in the Robilant e Voena Gallery and the one-man show of Salvo in the French church.

Another facet of twentieth-century Italian creativity that also gets its due is the important impact made by the fashion system, with a personal show, hosted at the Kempinski, to pay tribute to Giovanni Gastel, one of the world’s leading fashion photographers. On this occasion, his work is compared with that of the Italian artist who was more skilled than any other at playing with the imagery of show business and the seductive appeal of the great movie divas: Mimmo Rotella.

As usual, St. Moritz Art Masters is also involving other localities in Engadin, such as Zuoz, where the Monica de Cardenas Gallery is hosting a solo show by the young Milanese artist Lupo Borgonovo, while the Chesa Planta in Samedan will be home to Paolo Scheggi, Agostino Bonalumi and Enrico Castellani.

St. Moritz Art Masters will be a showcase of all the best that Italy has produced in artistic terms. Included among the many masterpieces due to go on show in the exhibition being organised by Gian Enzo Sperone in his gallery in Sent will be works by Giacomo Balla, Nicolaj Diulgheroff, Fillia, Lucio Fontana, Bruno Munari, Enrico Prampolini, Manlio Rho, Ettore Sottsass and Giulio Turcato.

St. Moritz Art Masters 2015 is made possible by Cartier as its main and title sponsor, by Montblanc and by Perrier-Jouët, with the backing of Apple, BMW, Bombardier, Deutsche Bank – Asset & Wealth Management, the Ferretti Group, illy, Linea Più, Nikon, Pirelli and Zepter and the support, consolidated over the years, of Engadin St. Moritz, of the Kempinski – Grand Hotel des Bains, the Kulm Hotel, the Nira Alpina and Survetta House, and with Artology, Radio Monte Carlo and Taschen as media partners.

Cartier and Linea Più play the leading roles in the special event to be held on Thursday 27 August, inaugurating the solo show of Rose de Vauville, an artist who started out in the fashion system – working successively with Ungaro, Guerlain and Dior – before deciding to devote her photographic compositions to fashion, conjuring up the sensuality and elegance of the legendary thirties, forties and fifties.
St. Moritz (CH), July 2015
VIII edition

St Moritz Art Masters 2014 - Highlights